this. is the situation. the dinner party’s dessert.
and this, believe it or not, is the first cheesecake we have ever made. for serious.
but why start with a basic cheesecake when you can have this?? am i right??
the ever so talented deb, of smitten kitchen described it as such, ” this cake is ridiculous, ridiculous bordering on obscene, so obscene that even a wee sliver of it takes an eating intermission mid-slice just to get through. perhaps you’ll go get yourself a glass of water, do some stretches or deep yogic breathing, but i guarantee that you’ll do whatever it takes to psych you up enough to take on the second half.”
and i’m all “deb, RELAX. i’ve been working out. i’ve got this.” but 3 bites into this thing, i was sunken into the couch, praying to everything that is holy for just a little more room for one more bite. we all were.
from smitten kitchen (easily serves 12-a small country)
9 oz chocolate wafer cookies
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder (it does exist! i found it at the fresh market.) or coffee crystals
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. make the crust. grind cookies, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in a food processor until they are fine. add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. dump everything into the a 9 inch springform pan (one with 3 inch sides). press the crumb mixture firmly up the sides, leaving 1/2 inch at the top. firmly press crumbs into the bottom of the pan, too. set aside.
2. ganache time. bring the cream to a simmer in a large saucepan. remove from the heat & add chocolate & kahlua. whisk everything together until chocolate is melted & ganache is smooth. pour 2 cups of the ganach over the prepared crust. freeze for about 30 minutes, until the ganache is set & firm. set the remaining ganache aside, at room temperature, for decorating later.
3. fill it up. preheat the oven to 350°. position the rack to the middle. in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese & sugar until well blended, scraping down the sides. beat in the flour. in a small separate bowl, mix together rum, espresso powder (or ground coffee), vanilla & molasses until the coffee is dissolved. add this to the cream cheese mixture & beat well. beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between to make sure everything is well mixed.
4. pour the filling over the cold ganache & crust. it will get really close to the top. don’t. freak. out. it’s supposed to be like that. but place it on a rimmed baking sheet anyway, just in case. bake until the top is brown, puffy & cracked (it’s okay!) at the edges & the middle two inches only jiggle a little bit when shaken, about an hour (ours took a little bit longer, but just keep checking it after an hour). remove from oven & place on a cooling rack. cool for 15 minutes. no, you don’t get to take a break now, you get to make the topping. the cheesecake will fall a little to make room for it.
5. topping. whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. pour it over the hot(ish) cheesecake, spreading it all over. put back in the oven & bake until topping is set, about 10-15 minutes. place back on the cooling rack. refrigerate until cool, about 3 hours.
6. when cool, run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen the cake. release the pan sides & transfer cake to a serving platter. decorate with remaining ganache & share with 29 of your closest friends. it’ll take that many.
**cake is best made at least one day ahead**
***and now i am finished with all the jersey shore metaphors***